Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Training Recap

The O's beat the Cards yesterday 4-1 and Adam Loewen continued to look very impressive pitching 5 shutout innings with 4 Ks, 4 hits and 2 walks. Chad Bradford gave up the lone run and Jamie Walker and "Mr. Reluctant" Baez each pitched perfect innings. The horrible Paul Bako went 2 for 4 with an RBI which I am not happy about but I'll get into it later.

Spring Training is wrapping up as far as position battles, the regulars will now get more and more time over the next week and a half as the roster is cut down. I am still a bit confused about who will make the roster but I figured I'd take a look back at how everything shaped up this spring.

The biggest disappointments would have to be J.R House and Jon Knott. It was hoped one of these guys would have a nice spring and offer some right handed power off the bench but House hit .222 with one extra base hit (a double) and Knott hit just .200 with one extra base hit (a home run). I don't put too much stock in spring stats for established players but the fact that Millar is hitting .050 had to be a bit concerning.

Paul Bako got healthy and somehow is hitting .357, effectively ending Adam Donachie's chances to break with the big club. Donachie has had a fine spring with the bat when he got regular at-bats and defensively he has been praised by none other than Rick Dempsey himself. "In our organization, we need more guys like him," Dempsey said. "He's young and he's got a chance to be a pretty darned good defensive catcher." Hopefully the team can work out a deal to keep him in the organization because he won't make the 25-man roster. The team needs a third catcher less than a 13th pitcher.

On the plus side, Jason Dubois has played well enough to make the club this spring and could be a first call option if he continues to play well at Norfolk. I follow the Cubs and have followed Dubois' career a bit. In AAA, he's a free-swinging but productive slugger but has never translated that ability to the Majors. Jeremy Guthrie has exceeded expectations and looks to break camp with the big club as a long relief/spot starter role. Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen have been dominant and Daniel Cabrera has been much improved. Ruddy Yan has looked impressive but won't make the team. Our AAA team should be very good this year.

I'm ready for the real season to start.

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